Man indicted for impersonating R&B singers

A Minnesota man was indicted Wednesday for allegedly impersonating rhythm and blues singers Ginuwine and Devante DeGroat in an alleged scheme that cost
Author:
Publish date:

A Minnesota man was indicted Wednesday for allegedly impersonating rhythm and blues singers Ginuwine and Devante DeGroat in an alleged scheme that cost victims tens of thousands of dollars. Ronrico Madison, 24, who was arrested Dec. 13 in St. Paul, Minnesota, on related charges, was indicted in Manhattan federal court on two counts of wire and mail fraud. If convicted, he faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison on each of the two counts.Federal prosecutors said a judge had ordered Madison, who is being held without bail, to be transported to New York to face trial. According to the indictment, the scheme began in April 2000 when Madison allegedly began impersonating the two singers, who performwith the group Jodeci. Prosecutors said the scheme ended whenMadison was arrested last month. At least six victims were allegedly defrauded and the investigation was continuing, prosecutors said. Madison is charged with cheating five of the victims while posing as Ginuwine. The victims were not identified by name in the indictment.In one case, he allegedly convinced a music promoter in Ohio he would perform a concert there and told the victim to send him $8,900 in advance, via Western Union. Two days before the scheduled performance, the victim learned he had been speaking with an impostor, court papers said. In total, the promoter lost $9,389 in money transfers and costs, $6,000 in advertising fees for the canceled concert as well as $10,000 in refunded ticket sales. Another victim, who believed his or her modeling agency would be used for a Ginuwine music video, agreed to pay a $2,000 hotel bill for Madison and to give the defendant over $3,000 for other expenses.Madison is also charged with allegedly impersonating DeGroat during a phone call to a casting agent in Georgia. He allegedly told the agent he wanted to use the agent's company for an upcoming music video. Madison, posing as DeGroat, told the agent he needed $6,900 for expenses but would repay the victim within a week. He told the agent to wire the funds to his agent, who he identified as Ronrico Madison in St. Paul.—REUTERS